According to figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 3,000 individuals died in accidents involving distracted driving in 2018. A distracted driver who does not pay undivided attention to the road and traffic is a danger to all other road users. Distracted drivers can cause accidents with other cars, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, often with tragic consequences.
Yet, distracted driving is entirely preventable. In recent years, lawmakers around the country have concentrated on stamping out texting and using the phone while driving. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), for example, using a cellphone while driving is illegal except in hands-free mode. However, texting and using a cell phone are not the only instances of distracted driving. Other examples include:
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Grooming and putting on make-up
- Interacting with passengers in the back
- Adjusting the stereo or navigation system
- Reaching for objects on the floor or on the back seat
- Changing clothes while driving
- Playing loud music
- Getting distracted by anything outside the car
The bottom line is that a car driver must stay in full control of their vehicle at all times, which includes when the car is stopped at a traffic light or in a traffic jam, for example. Not doing so can make a driver liable in an accident.
If you suffered serious injuries and financial losses in an accident with a distracted driver, you should speak to your Bakersfield distracted driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may have legal recourse and could potentially recover compensation for your injuries, suffering, and monetary losses.
Negligence in Distracted Driving Claims
While a distracted driver certainly breaches their duty of care to other road users by not paying attention, distracted driving claims are not necessarily easy to prove. When an at-fault driver used a phone during the accident, it is possible to request phone records that could be evidence for liability.
However, in many other cases, proving distraction can be tricky. If you saw a driver drinking and eating or grooming themselves just before the crash, it could be your word against theirs, unless you have eyewitnesses who can confirm your version of events.
Having a Bakersfield distracted driving accident lawyer in your corner can help prove your case. Your lawyer will try to research all possible avenues for retrieving evidence, which can include:
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving accidents lawyer serving Bakersfield, call (800) 598-7557
Having eyewitnesses that saw your accident can help your case immensely. Without eyewitnesses that can provide detailed statements of what happened, distracted driving can be tough to prove. Witnesses can also testify in a trial.
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Photographs, as well as videos of the accident scene, can be helpful for your claim. If you or any eyewitnesses took pictures, they should be submitted as evidence for your case. Pictures can play an important part when it comes to reconstructing an accident scene and establishing who is at fault for the accident.
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Having a police report backing up your version of events can constitute important evidence in your claim. It is important that you provide police with an honest and comprehensive statement as this will be recorded in the police report.
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Traffic Camera Footage
In some cases, traffic camera footage, as well as any available dash camera footage, can help to prove the negligence of a distracted driver. However, fast action can be important as traffic camera footage is typically deleted after a few weeks.
Evidence of Damages
Your lawyer can help you collect all the applicable evidence for your financial damages as well as for any physical and emotional injuries suffered in an accident. Evidence can be receipts for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses as well as proof for loss of income.
Proving Your Case
In a distracted driving accident, your lawyer will gather all the applicable evidence and aim to prove:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care by driving distractedly
- The accident was a direct result of the breach
- You have tangible damages such as injuries and property damage
If you can hold a distracted driver to account for your damages, you could potentially receive economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, repair or replacement of your car, and others.
If you suffered significant injuries in the accident, you could also potentially recover so-called non-economic damages. Non-economic compensation generally covers those losses that are not monetary and, therefore, somewhat tricky to calculate. However, your lawyer can analyze your case and damages comprehensively. Examples of non-economic damages can be loss of life quality, pain and suffering, and others.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Is Here for You
Handling distracted driving accident claims and the insurances on your own can be a challenging and stressful battle that could leave you little time to recover from your injuries. However, if a careless distracted driver caused your accident, they should make you whole again and pay for your damages.
Your Bakersfield distracted driving accident lawyer knows how to handle car accident claims and can prove that a distracted driver is at fault. We have the resources and tenacity required to fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Working on a “no win no fee” basis means that we take the financial risk when we work on your case and not you.
However, we recommend that you act quickly if you intend to take legal action. The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally gives you only two years to file a personal injury claim, and you could miss out on your due if you do not act in a timely manner. There is no benefit to waiting. Timely action can also help you receive compensation that can aid your recovery and help with any medical bills that have been mounting up.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC now for your free case evaluation with one of our team members. Reach us at (800) 598-7557.
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